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Custom 1998 Chevrolet S-10 - Busted Knuckles

Ryan Ryerson's Mad-Tuckin' '98 S-10

Kevin Aguilar
Sep 1, 2007
Photographers: Kevin Aguilar
Photo 2/7   |   1998 Chevrolet S10 passenger Side View
If you have ever been to a show or if you read Sport Truck, you might have noticed some custom trucks that have been punished by the owners who drag them on the highway to make sparks or hop them to get major air. The action is definitely exciting and gets everyone fired up, but it can really have some adverse effects on the vehicle. Ryan Ryerson found this out the hard way by getting his '98 Chevy S-10 hooked up with an adjustable air suspension and doing nothing less than showing off. After some major abuse, Ryan started to hear some disturbing noises when he drove his truck. When he got the chance to look at the frame, he noticed it was cracked in several places.
Ryan's days of driving his airbagged truck were done, and it was considered unsafe to drive on the street. The newness of hitting switches on his airbagged truck grew old, and all he could think about was driving low with big rims. In an effort to get the truck road-worthy, Ryan's wife agreed to help out by funding the S-10's cause. With the money they saved up, Ryan cruised over to Devious Customs for the necessary repairs.
Photo 3/7   |   1998 Chevrolet S10 passenger Side Rear View
Once there, shop owner Jeff Davy was able to see how much damage was really done. From what he saw, Jeff knew that the best way to salvage the truck was to build an entirely new frame while accomplishing a stock floor body drop over 22-inch wheels. Ryan liked what he heard and handed over the keys for the fabrication work to be done. Jeff started the build by making the frame out of 2x4- and 2x3-inch steel to get the rockers on the shop floor. For the rear suspension, a custom four-link with a track bar was fabricated, and a set of Firestone F9000 airbags were mounted over the axle. Since the original single-piece driveshaft would come well into the cab floor, due to travel for the 22s, a custom-made two-piece version was mounted in.
Although the rear suspension was relatively simple, the front was a bit different because it needed to lift the fenders over the tires in order to turn them. This was accomplished by fabbing a set of upper and lower control arms for maximum lift. While designing these arms, Jeff made sure to keep the length of the arms as close as possible, so the wheels would have minimal camber at all heights. The next issue to address was getting more play out of the steering system for the suspension travel, so the original linkage was tossed for one from a '98 Chevy Astro van with some fabrication on the tie rod ends. Then, a Hydratech hydraulic brake booster was bolted on for clearance, and a set of Baer brakes was installed at all four corners.
Photo 4/7   |   1998 Chevrolet S10 rear Suspension
Because the suspension is in its final stages, Ryan is having a few extra body mods done, besides the normal shave job. That's when the talented Joe Rodriguez of Untouchable Metal Works was called for a 2-1/2-inch choptop. Joe performed this mod by cutting down the doors and filling the expansion points with extra material from a donor door. Then, the pillars were cut in the same manner, and a roof from an extended cab S-10 was cut down to eliminate the need to shape flat sheetmetal for areas that required more material. The choptop was performed this way to ensure all of the original angles remained the same and only the glass would need to be trimmed. What's currently being worked on is a Grant Kustoms skin combo and the addition of taillights from a Chevy Equinox. Presently, everything is in a pretty rough state, but Ryan is anxious to get it finished. Some minor things may change, but this truck should be in a similar form and ready for show in the near future.



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